QUALITYstarsNY sat down with Ashley Martin, Director of Creative Kids of Kent

Ashley Martin received the “Director of the Year” award at the Champions of Child Care event hosted by the Child Care Council of Dutchess-Putnam, Inc. She has worked with Creative Kids since 2006 and was promoted to the director position in 2012.

What does earning this award mean to you?

Receiving the acknowledgment and having my efforts being recognized as an individual director has meant so much to me. My program is like my family, they know my children and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to create a supportive environment for all families and this acknowledgment means I have succeeded.

What made you interested in joining the early childhood field?

I have always been interested in working with children and how they learn. I started at Creative Kids when I was 18 years old. I knew then that I wanted to pursue a career in early childhood. In my journey to where I am today, I started as a floater working on my Child Development Associate certificate. I was hired as an assistant teacher and had my first child. I was promoted to assistant director as I was finishing my Bachelor of Arts degree and also had my second child. I was driven by my own children, family, and the supportive people around me.

To what do you attribute to your success as an early childhood professional?

I attribute my success to working with great role models, dedicated teachers, and now, a regional director who has been a real mentor in showing me how to grow in my role as director. I really enjoy and love what I do each day allowing me to support our children, families, and staff in promoting high-quality experiences for children. My success is the experiences I have had in working my way up in my various roles that help me connect and support my staff.

We’re excited to celebrate you as a member of the QUALITYstarsNY community! How has being a participant in QUALITYstarsNY impacted you as an early childhood professional?

I appreciate the support from my Quality Improvement Specialist in all areas. Participating in QUALITYstarsNY is helping me support my teachers in looking at our classroom environments using the Environment Rating Scales to assess where we can promote better learning experiences for our children and providing us with materials to foster learning.

Congrats on your achievement, Ashley! Thank you for your leadership and commitment to Creative Kids of Kent.